Continuing with the “Intended Audience for Perfect Brightness of Hope” topic, the following experience emphasizes how my book affected someone with no direct experience regarding addiction or alcoholism.
When I retired from a career with FranklinCovey Co., I left a copy of my book with my co-worker and friend, Sean Covey. Sean was like most of the good people I knew in the company, unaware and uninformed of the plight of alcoholics and addicts. Frankly, he thought he had no reason to read my book. A few years later he was working on a book entitled, “Six Decisions You’ll Have to Make: A Guidebook for Teens.” He knew one of the decisions had to be about addictions as this was swiftly becoming a major issue among teens. He was stuck. He had no personal experience and had no idea where to begin. Here is what he wrote to me in an email:
“I wanted to share what happened to me the other day. I am writing a book for teens and one of the chapters is on addictions. I was stuck and didn’t have anything to say. So I picked up the book you gave me several years ago (which I hadn’t read) and started thumbing through it. Hours later I finished the whole thing. I was taken aback by the book. When I finished, I wept because I had experienced everything you went through. I felt the spirit so strong. I felt like I was led to read that book and it influenced the way I wrote the chapter on addictions. After reading it, the words just flowed. It was one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. Thanks so much for writing it. Every church member ought to read it. Sean” (*Note: Sean briefly tells my story in his book and includes the notes my daughter left on my desk. See Chapter 5 of PBH, pages 74 & 75.
I share this experience because it captures perfectly what I had hoped would be the effect of Perfect Brightness of Hope: Increased understanding leading to increased compassion for those with little or no direct experience with alcoholism or addiction.